Santa Cruz's all new Hightower Carbon CC 27. 5 XX1 Complete Mountain Bike may be shipped as a mid wheelbig tire model, but its linkage can be adjusted, transforming it into a 29er without significantly altering its long, low, enduro geometry. Of course, the fact that it comes stock with Boost axles, clearance that easily accommodates 2. 8in tires, aggressively stubby chainstays, a long reach, and a decidedly slack head tube mean that you may never be tempted by the other side of the fence. The grass is looking pretty damn green right here in the 27. 5 yard, especially when all of those features are paired with SRAM's superlative XX1 drivetrain and a Race Face Next SL crank. Despite the appeal of 27. 5, the little flip chip niblet that sits in the upper link and allows the shock mount to migrate is pretty damn cool, and definitely warrants some attention. Being able to reposition the shock attachment point effectively accounts for the 9mm difference in radii between 27. 5 and 29in tires, keeping the geometry as static as possible across wheel sizes. There's definitely a trend in the industry towards four inch 29ers slacked out for trail riding, but the Hightower's optional 29er incarnation pushes that trend into the all mountain realm. Like with the ability to swap wheel sizes, the Hightower's middle range, 5. 3in travel belies its true nature. Though its travel and wheel clearance may inspire initial comparisons with Mr. Moderate the 5010 or SC's equivalent of a center in basketball the Tallboy LT, Santa Cruz instead encourages us to think of it as the Bronson's taller brother. Yep, that Bronson. Given the implied big hit aggression of this comparison, we're compelled to dip into the lore of North American ball sports again for another analogy: the Hightower isn't a gangly hoopster so much as the two wheeled version of a predatory linebacker. The Hightower's 67 degree head tube angle, generous tire clearance, and reworked Virtual Pivot Point suspensi...
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